IT'S EASY TO IMAGINE lovelorn poets scribbling sonnets and the odd billet doux in the gardens of Hunter's Hotel, so inviting is the setting.
A 300-year-old former coaching inn on the banks of Ireland's River Varty, Hunter's has old-time romance written all over it. Run by the Gelletlie family since 1825, this shabby-chic stone-built inn resonates with simple country charm.
Brass glints by the fireside, old wood glows, clocks tick and turf bricks sizzle in the hearth. In short, it’s the kind of quaint romantic hideaway you’d like to hole up in for days. Cross the tiled entrance hall, with its creaky staircase and grandfather clock, take tea in the elegant drawing room or nurse a whiskey ensconced in an old-fashioned armchair in the bar.
Spruce bedrooms gleam with antiques and freshly-painted wood, while jugs of fresh flowers help make Hunters' pretty yellow dining room a treat. It's a place steeped in timewarp charm.
The gardens at Hunter's Hotel – a riot of rhododendrons, tulips, magnolias and the fronds of palm trees – are the cherry on the cake . Meander along the riverside walk, linger over a pre-dinner drink by the lawn or just soak up the scents of a myriad flowers. While the tide of new development gathers pace in Ireland, Hunter's remains a beacon of olde-worlde and quirky charm.
© Room for Romance
Hunter's Hotel was reviewed for Room for Romance by Amanda Kingston